If you have been hurt at work and you are wondering if you can lose your benefits, that’s a good question to ask your workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced, knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can not only answer your questions but help you navigate the system so you won’t be at risk of losing your benefits.
Sometimes, when you are receiving workers’ compensation, the payments can stop. Maybe you expected the stoppage; maybe you did not. If you were not expecting a stoppage, you might be wondering what happened.
There are a number of things that can affect your workers’ compensation benefits.
When your benefits stop, one of the first things to do is to make sure the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (or your third-party administrator) has the necessary and required paperwork on file for your case. There are a number of things that must be on file, like a C84 form to certify that you don’t get other benefits to a Medco-14 form from your doctor stating you cannot return to work at full duty.
If you haven’t seen your doctor in a while, those forms might have lapsed. Or your doctor might have released you to go back to work with no restrictions. Both can impact your benefits.
Your benefits can also be stopped if you have reached what is termed Maximum Medical Improvement. This means that you, as the injured party, have plateaued in your recovery and that further improvement is not expected in the short term. Your doctor may make this finding or it may be made by an examiner chosen by your employer or the state itself.
Generally, if this happens, there will be a hearing – especially if your doctor’s opinion differs from an opinion of a state or employer chosen doctor. At the hearing, your doctor can dispute this decision; however, if the results of the hearing find that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, your benefits will end.
If you lose your workers’ compensation benefits, there could be other benefits available to you, depending on your health and other factors. You could be eligible for disability benefits or other programs to get back to work. This is why it is a great idea to have a workers’ compensation attorney in your corner.
If you have questions about your benefits, our qualified attorneys are here to help. Contact us today.